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Author Topic: Democracy in Africa. Is it Democracy or something else?  (Read 1001 times)

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Offline krakenknightTopic starter

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Democracy in Africa. Is it Democracy or something else?
« on: May 19, 2011, 04:44:44 AM »
The South African Local Government Elections have been interesting this year with the ANC government facing stiff opposition in areas that were strongholds for 20 years. After I voted I asked myself a few questions.
The questions one needs to ask are these. Are people who vote for a "Liberation party" actually voting on issues or are they voting based on what the party did 20 years ago? Are Mugabe or Gaddaffi or even more moderate leaders actually in office because of thinking voters or tribal and religious politicking?
Should people choose their government or should it be chosen for them in these instances as Plato argued?

Offline Scribbles

Re: Democracy in Africa. Is it Democracy or something else?
« Reply #1 on: May 19, 2011, 09:04:20 AM »
Quote
Should people choose their government or should it be chosen for them in these instances as Plato argued?

Out of curiosity, who would you have choosing for the people?

Offline krakenknightTopic starter

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Re: Democracy in Africa. Is it Democracy or something else?
« Reply #2 on: May 19, 2011, 09:06:49 AM »
Out of curiosity, who would you have choosing for the people?
I would assume the "International community" whatever that means. Bear in mind I'm puzzling this myself.

Offline Scribbles

Re: Democracy in Africa. Is it Democracy or something else?
« Reply #3 on: May 19, 2011, 09:15:10 AM »
I understand. And I Hate to say it but the international community would likely choose the ANC as well, based on the parties struggle credentials, icons, etc.

Unfortunatelly all I believe you can do is sit back and patiently wait. Change can be a gradual thing, almost painfully so. I'm sure the successes of the past can only carry the ANC so far.

Offline krakenknightTopic starter

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Re: Democracy in Africa. Is it Democracy or something else?
« Reply #4 on: May 19, 2011, 09:17:32 AM »
I was actually talking about Africa in general. South Africa's elections were just a catalyst for the argument.

Offline Scribbles

Re: Democracy in Africa. Is it Democracy or something else?
« Reply #5 on: May 19, 2011, 09:24:26 AM »
Oh, my mistake, although what I've said can probably be applied to other African countries as well. As for your other questions, I'm not sure what to say, since I can't even begin to understand the motivations behind the votes of so many different types of people.

Offline krakenknightTopic starter

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Re: Democracy in Africa. Is it Democracy or something else?
« Reply #6 on: May 19, 2011, 09:46:38 AM »
Oh, my mistake, although what I've said can probably be applied to other African countries as well. As for your other questions, I'm not sure what to say, since I can't even begin to understand the motivations behind the votes of so many different types of people.

Sadly that seems to be the case normally.

Offline Oniya

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Re: Democracy in Africa. Is it Democracy or something else?
« Reply #7 on: May 19, 2011, 09:58:21 AM »
It's more universal than you think.  I took the liberty of making a few substitutions in your original post and - while I don't espouse the viewpoint that came out of it, I have certainly seen similar ideas put forth on various political blogs.

Quote
The U.S. Elections were interesting in 2008 with the Republican government facing stiff opposition in areas that were strongholds for 20 years. After I voted I asked myself a few questions.
The questions one needs to ask are these. Are people who vote for the "Democrat party" actually voting on issues or are they voting based on what the party did 20 years ago? Is Obama actually in office because of thinking voters or ethnic and religious politicking?

Keep in mind that this is not my opinion, nor do I intend to make a direct comparison between the ANC and the Republican party (or any of the other substitutions that I made), but merely an illustration of how this same situation crops up over and over.

Offline Scribbles

Re: Democracy in Africa. Is it Democracy or something else?
« Reply #8 on: May 19, 2011, 10:03:01 AM »
Oniya, one minor hiccup with your substitution. The "Liberation Party" is considered to be the ANC, not their opposition. Arguably, they were the driving force behind the end of apartheid (Again, this is highly debateable). Although, it still (sort of) works if you throw "Republican Party" into that gap rather than "Democrat Party".  :P
« Last Edit: May 19, 2011, 10:04:45 AM by Scribbles »

Offline Oniya

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Re: Democracy in Africa. Is it Democracy or something else?
« Reply #9 on: May 19, 2011, 10:11:46 AM »
That wasn't clear in the initial posting, and I concede the point.  The question could still be asked - actually about any election - whether people who vote for Party X are doing it because they actually know what the party is standing for, or because of some image of what that party stood for in the past - or even because their demographic group is voting that way.

Offline Scribbles

Re: Democracy in Africa. Is it Democracy or something else?
« Reply #10 on: May 19, 2011, 10:15:10 AM »
I agree completely. I know very few people who know what their parties stand for. It's almost as if they base their vote on family, tradition, religion, demographics, or even due to a sound bite they heard long ago. It'd be nice if more people educated themselves on their parties platforms.

Offline Pointless Digression

Re: Democracy in Africa. Is it Democracy or something else?
« Reply #11 on: May 19, 2011, 10:42:34 AM »
Should people choose their government or should it be chosen for them in these instances as Plato argued?

Yeah, see, here's the problem with quoting ancient Greek philosophers on matters of law, justice, and government. When you find slavery to be natural and just and when you think of women as cowardly and unrighteous, you lose all credibility at the onset.

Offline Scribbles

Re: Democracy in Africa. Is it Democracy or something else?
« Reply #12 on: May 19, 2011, 10:56:03 AM »
The ancient philosopher might lose credibility but this doesn't mean he didn't have a few pearls of wisdom to share, or that those who use them somehow accept all his beliefs. Mind you, I agree, I'm not exactly a fan of the quote either but Kraken has admitted that he's simply frustrated with the current system and looking for options and/or opinions. Or that's what I've gathered, at least.

Offline Oniya

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Re: Democracy in Africa. Is it Democracy or something else?
« Reply #13 on: May 19, 2011, 11:03:36 AM »
In a way, by not being informed, the voters are already letting their government be 'chosen for them'.  Whatever body selects the candidates is doing the choosing, simply by having the chosen person in the right party.

Offline Scribbles

Re: Democracy in Africa. Is it Democracy or something else?
« Reply #14 on: May 19, 2011, 11:28:40 AM »
Too true Oniya. Nothing I can really add to that.